Honey's proactive home maintenance checklist

13 March 2023 4 mins
home maintenance tips Australia

Here, we show you the importance of taking a proactive approach to home maintenance.

Anna-Louise McDougall

Homeownership. We’re kind of obsessed with it right now in Australia, aren’t we? The great Australian dream is hinged on a double brick house, a two-car garage, and a hills hoist of our very own. But with the cloud of economic uncertainty following us into 2023, if rising repayment expenses for home buyers weren't trouble enough, there’s also the ongoing maintenance required to keep your home a happy one.

Here, we show you the importance of taking a proactive approach to home maintenance.

What lies beneath 

So, you’ve waved goodbye to your fear of rate hikes, market freefall, and expensive mortgage repayments and your hard-earned deposit. You’re not alone. According to an Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) housing conditions report released in 2022 for the period of 2019-2020, 20% of households who moved within the last 5 years said the main reason was simply to purchase their own home to live in. 

However, the catch for homeowners is that all homes require ongoing maintenance, and when overlooked, these expenses can put a hole in your cash flow - particularly if you’re planning on renovating to increase its value. 

It’s the foundational aspects of the building that you want to keep an eye out for, so you’re not spending on major repairs that could’ve been picked up on early. For example, in the same report, 11% of households reported major structural problems in their home, with cracks in walls or floors most often reported, followed by sinking or moving foundations, damaged walls or windows, as well as major plumbing problems.

How much should I spend on maintenance and repairs?

47% of households reported to the ABS survey that repairs or maintenance had been carried out on their current home. The most commonly reported types of repair or maintenance were:

  • plumbing - 25% of households
  • painting - 19% of households
  • electrical work - 16% of households
  • roof repair and maintenance - 10% of households

According to Prosolution, it’s a reasonable expectation to spend around 0.40% to 0.75% p.a. of a property’s value on ongoing maintenance.

Minimising or avoiding maintenance costs is a false economy, the problem either remains unresolved or just gets worse. And let’s not forget what is out of sight, is generally out of mind. Items in the home you can’t see, like water pipes, behind the washing machine, issues with mains boxes, or electrical faults can create problems.

What kind of maintenance tasks should I be doing?

Every month

  • Clean all the sinks and drains in the home.
  • Dust and rinse your heating and air conditioning system filters (replace if required).
  • Scrub the grime off your rangehood filters with a strong degreasing solution.
  • Test smoke detectors, cleaning top to bottom and replacing batteries.
  • Replace light bulbs where necessary.

Every 3 months

  • Monitor your fridge for leaks, vacuum refrigerator coils, and ensure the temperature is at the right level.
  • Clean all dust and lint from your laundry exhaust vents.
  • Rinse out clothes dryers and washers’ screens.
  • Run water and flush toilets in unused areas.

Every summer

  • Inspect the outside paint, driveway, and foundations for any cracks or splits.
  • Re-seal decking, fences and any other outdoor woodwork.
  • Run cold and hot water taps, replace any damaged hoses.
  • Trim any overhanging trees or branches around the house.
  • Check gutters and downpipes to ensure they’re clear.
  • Remove any tree branches/foliage that is obstructing power wires.

Every winter

  • Inspect and clean gutters, ramps and downspouts for leaves.
  • Assess for water leakage or property damage.
  • Check for leaks in taps, seals and roofing before the rain kicks in.
  • Evaluate any moisture damage underneath the home.

Honey is determined to provide our customers with ongoing solutions to pick up on the small problems that can be repaired and maintained before something serious (or seriously expensive) occurs in your home. Starting with smart home technology, such as our smart home sensors that alerts your smartphone to accidents like fire, theft and water damage. Customers can choose to include complimentary smart home sensors on eligible Honey home and contents policies. 

For example, Honey’s YouGov research from April 2022, revealed that the most common reasons for making claims in the past 12 months are due to water leakage (27%). This suggests homeowners should be regularly checking out-of-view water sources like flexi-hoses to avoid making such claims. But, we’re only human, right? Leaks usually happen unexpectedly, which is why our smart home sensors exist, to do the monitoring and alerting for you.

Check out how our smart home sensors help keep tabs on your home, here.

Insurance issued by RACQ Insurance Limited ABN 50 009 704 152, AFSL 233 082 and distributed by Honey Insurance Pty Ltd ABN 52 643 672 628, AFSL 528244. Conditions, limits and exclusions apply. This is general advice only and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and may not be right for you.  Always read the PDS, any applicable SPDS and TMD available at honeyinsurance.com before making any decision.

Anna is Honey’s resident copywriter and product marketer, responsible for making insurance make sense. When she’s not grammar policing, she’s being her own devil’s advocate; could it read better, could it help more people, how much Honey is enough?

Anna-Louise McDougall

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